Lightning storms moving across Idaho causing multiple fires

Wednesday July 7, 2021

(Boise) – Lighting storms with multiple strikes have resulted in fires in north and north central Idaho. Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) and Timber Protection Associations firefighters are following up on reports of smoke and in many cases are just now reaching the fires. Drones have stopped the aerial attack on one fire near Kamiah putting homes at risk. Limited information is currently available.

Mission Flats Fire - IDL Cataldo Forest Protection District

This 20 acre fire is near the Cataldo Mission west of the boat ramp, but the mission is not immediately threatened. No other structures are threatened. The fire has not jumped the freeway or the river. I-90 eastbound near Cataldo is currently down to one lane and people are asked to be cautious but keep moving. Multiple aircraft, equipment and personnel are fighting the fire.

This fire district is also responding to a number of reports of smoke.

Butte Creek Fire – Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association (CPTPA)

This fire is estimated to be between 80-100 acres burning in timber and logging slash and is located near Butte Creek in Clearwater County. No structures are currently threatened. Multiple aircraft, engines and ground resources are currently battling this blaze. A Type 2 Interagency Management Team has been ordered for this fire.

A flight over the area revealed at lease 12 fires within the protection area, with 4-5 more fires near the Butte Creek Fire estimated to be 5 acres or less.

Shovel Creek Fire - IDL Craig Mountain Fire Protection District

Fire crews are just arriving at the scene of this 90 acre fire that is burning in grasses with a high spread potential. Some structures are threatened. This fire is near Corral Creek near the Nez Perce and Lewis County border.

Hoover Ridge Fire - IDL Craig Mountain Fire Protection District

This fire is estimated to be about 10 acres burning in timber is near the oxbow of the Salmon River. Multiple air resources are currently working on the fire. There are at least 3 other small fires and fire crews are investigating multiple reports of smoke.

Ridgewood Fire– Maggie Creek Fire Protection District

A drone operator has put homes at risk on the Ridgewood Fire, located about 3 miles south and east of Kamiah. Because of the drone, multiple air resources had to stop dropping water on the 5-10 acre fire burning in timber, brush and steep terrain. Homes are located above the fire and crews are trying to keep the fire from going up the steep hill toward the homes. No evacuations have been ordered.
Multiple aircraft, engines and ground resources are currently fighting this fire.

Big Horse Fire – Maggie Creek Fire Protection District

This 40-50 acre fire is burning at the head of Big Horse Canyon near Kooskia in timber on the edge of agricultural land with homes nearby. No evacuations have been ordered. This is the fourth fire in this area within the last week. Multiple aircraft, engines and ground resources are currently fighting this fire. A Type 3 Interagency Management Team has been ordered for this fire.

The public is reminded to not use drones anywhere near wildland fires as fire planes cannot fly when a drone is flying, putting firefighters, homes and resources at risk. Fire resources are spread thin and there is the threat of additional lightning storms throughout the week across the state. Many regions are considering fire restrictions. With drought conditions and High to Extremely High Fire conditions throughout the state, the public is reminded to take every precaution to prevent wildfires.

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Find the latest IDL Fire updates on our website-based IDL Fire News Feed and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Sharla Arledge

About IDL Fire: Idaho Department of Lands Fire Management (IDL Fire) in partnership with two Timber Protection Associations and with the support of rural volunteer fire departments and other partners, are responsible for fire suppression and prevention on more than 6 million acres of state and private forests and rangelands in Idaho. IDL Fire focuses on initial attack with the goal of keeping fires at 10 acres or less. IDL Fire protects and preserves important endowment timber assets that help fund Idaho schools and other beneficiaries, as well as millions of acres of private forestland. The map below shows the different Forest Protection Districts in Idaho.